Manufacturing is a large, varied, and complex field that includes many different industries. But no matter which industry you operate within, the need for effective manufacturing processes is always priority number one. When it comes to increased adhesion, there’s no better method than plasma surface treatment. Read on to learn more about the basics, common applications, and benefits of plasma treatment in manufacturing.
The Scientific Process and Purpose
Before we dive into the scientific process and purpose of plasma surface treatment, let’s review the basics of plasma. Plasma is the fourth state of matter, created when we supply additional energy to matter. Whereas solids, liquids, and gases feature electrons that remain inside the atomic nucleus, plasma consists of electrons and ions free from the nucleus. Common real-world examples of plasma include lightning or a welding arc.
How is plasma used in surface treatment? Using a plasma treatment machine, gas within a vacuum chamber is ionized. The plasma byproduct is introduced to and alters the surface of a material, effectively increasing bonding characteristics (increased wettability). Plasma also increases printing, coating, and priming adhesion. Plasma surface treatment is often more effective and durable than corona treatment, which is a method that ionizes air.
The Common Applications
Plasma surface treatment dominates many manufacturing, processing, and production industries. Plastic products, including polypropylene, polyethylene, PEEK, and PTFE, are often plasma treated. Various glass, ceramic, and metal items, along with engineering polymers and microfluidics PDMS, also benefit from the plasma surface treatment. However, you’ll find plasma surface treatments are common across many different industries, including aerospace defense and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Benefits of Plasma Surface Treatment
As we mentioned before, plasma surface treatment increases a material’s wettability. Wettability refers to the surface activation. Plasma increases bonding and adhesion properties. But this process can also change other characteristics of a material’s surface, such as friction and water repellency. Additionally, surface treatment is an excellent method for removing contaminants and ensuring a totally clean, sanitized object. This aspect of plasma surface treatment is essential in highly-regulated industries and applications.
Now that you know the ins and outs of plasma surface treatment, you can utilize this process in your own manufacturing business to upgrade your performance and effectiveness. These machines are expensive, but the investment is worth the large price tag.